Ontology development requires significant effort from both ontologists and domain experts. The process of knowledge elicitation is expensive, consumes experts' time and might have biases. A related problem is that of defining scope.
In this article, we investigate our early attempts at building an ontology
describing rehabilitation therapies following brain injury. These therapies are
wide-ranging, involving interventions of many different kinds. As a result,
these therapies are hard to describe. As well as restricting actual practice,
this is also a major impediment to evidence-based medicine as it is hard to
meaningfully compare two treatment plans.
Ontology development requires significant effort from both ontologists and
domain experts. Knowledge elicited from domain experts forms the scope of the
ontology. The process of knowledge elicitation is expensive, consumes experts'
time and might have biases depending on the selection of the experts. Various
methodologies and techniques exist for enabling this knowledge elicitation,
including community groups and open development practices. A related problem is
that of defining scope. By defining the scope, we can decide whether a concept
(i.e. term) should be represented in the ontology. This is the opposite of
knowledge elicitation, in the sense that it defines what should not be in the
ontology. This can be addressed by pre-defining a set of competency questions.
These approaches are, however, expensive and time-consuming. Here, we
describe our work toward an alternative approach, bootstrapping the ontology
from an initially small corpus of literature that will define the scope of the
ontology, expanding this to a set covering the domain, then using information
extraction to define an initial terminology to provide the basis and the
competencies for the ontology. Here, we discuss four approaches to building a
suitable corpus that is both sufficiently covering and precise.